Today is the first day of the Great Breening Blogathon, PEPS’s very first blogathon! I would like to thank all the kind and generous people who have agreed to participate. We have a very interesting array of talent, topics, and opinions on the roster. I am grateful because the participants have not only shown support for us personally. They have also shown support for the Pure Entertainment Preservation Society, for our cause, for the Code, and for Joe Breen. It is so encouraging to me to realize that all you writers were willing to dedicate your time and attention to contemplate Mr. Breen’s life and work even if you don’t agree with it. I appreciate the fact that you are willing to consider the Code and give it a chance. I hope that the articles will only improve everyone’s opinion of Joe “Midas” Breen, the man whose golden touch made the Golden Era of Hollywood!
With no further ado, here are the articles in each category. I will continue to add articles which are submitted to me throughout the day.
Part 1 – Breening Films
Katrina Morrison showed impressive energy and enthusiasm in her breening. She was completely open-minded in her review, and she was able to see breening as a new, interesting way to examine a film. We commend her for her gallant efforts. We did not watch the entire movie, since we found the war scenes to be graphic to the point of being disturbing. However, we can still comment on the correctness of Katrina’s breening. She rightly said that dressing and undressing must be supervised. Some Code films did show men in nothing but shorts, but there was a quality which pre-Code undressing scenes featured which was not entirely acceptable. As she also pointed out, the soldiers’ undressed swimming must be eliminated, and the violence must be curtailed or implied. We were very impressed by her brilliant suggestion regarding the revenge toward the superior officer. Regarding the romance, she aptly pointed out that the whole problem could be avoided by changing the French girl to his wife back home. A sweetheart would work, as well. This would be the easiest, but, as she stated, it would be a shame to spoil this scene. It is not necessary. With the Breen touch, it could have been done. The wonderful thing about breening is that, unlike censorship, you have the power to change things before they are made. If the suggestive flavor was removed, we think the sequence could remain in a breened version. One has to wonder whether, if all these changes were made, the film would be a Code-compliant one. It really isn’t possible to say, since, as Mr. Breen always said, our decision would have to be based on the finished picture, and that we can never see. We really appreciate Katrina’s listing of different sections of the Code. Her conscientious, scholarly, and very entertaining article on breening entitles her to a PEPS Seal of Approval. (All PEPS Seals may be reproduced on the receiver’s website with our blessing.)
Part 2 – Code Film Ideas
“Ring of Love:” An Original Movie from 1940 by Rebekah Brannan for PEPS
Rebekah Brannan, one of the founder of PEPS, published her first solo article for this website today. In this article, she describes her idea for a Code film which could have been made with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy in 1940. We hope that, as you read it, the movie will be as real in your mind as it is in hers. While we do not give our own articles PEPS Seals of Approval, we think that Mr. Breen would have given his seal to this movie if it had been made.
“Mean to Me:” Ruth Etting’s Story in 1939 by Tiffany and Rebekah Brannan for PEPS
We, the founders of PEPS, decided to use this blogathon as an opportunity to describe our ideas for a Code film of Ruth Etting’s life which could have been made by Warner Bros. in the late 1930s. With a few slight changes, the story easily became Code-compliant.
Part 3 – Tributes to the Code Era
“Dodsworth” from 1936 by William Ferry
William Ferry, a member of the Golden Age of Hollywood, graciously agreed to join the blogathon with his review on Dodsworth, a Breen film from 1936. He cleverly and entertainingly reviewed the film, listed his opinions, and even mentioned its relation to the Breen Office. While a film from this category is not eligible for a PEPS Seal of Approval, we commend him for his excellent contribution to the blogathon.
Annette Bochenek, an unexpected but delightful addition to the blogathon, bases her articles on the hometowns of famous Hollywood people. For this blogathon, she contributed a very interesting, informative, and well-written article about Joseph Breen’s life, work, and hometown of Philadelphia. We were impressed by the research which obviously went into this and by the fascinating information she provided about his schools and residences, some of which are still standing today. We thank her for contributing this fascinating article to the blogathon.
Katherine delighted us with her article about Mr. Breen’s influence on the iconic Casablanca. We were thrilled to discover her open-minded, unbiased ability to examine facts and present them fairly. She raised our favorite point, namely, that many of the classic films from the Golden Era are so marvelous not in spite of but because of Mr. Breen’s efforts to enforce the Code. We were touched by the personal way she addressed Mr. Breen, especially since she did not know about his life and work before this blogathon. She tenderly referred to him as Joseph and presented him fairly, as we hoped our participants would. Plus, she included a delicious-sounding recipe for some spiced nuts which could be enjoyed while watching a great Code film. We commend her on her remarkable ability to assume the point of view of past generations and thank her for her wonderful contribution to Mr. Breen’s birthday blogathon!
That’s all for now; keep checking back throughout the day to see the new articles as I add them to the roster. If you have enjoyed reading these articles or participating in the blogathon, please follow us. We need your support. By the way, it’s never too late to join the blogathon yourself!
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